Monday, May 21, 2012

His Quest for 70.3

Me crossing the finish line at an event in 2011
What does 70.3 mean? It's the total distance for a half iron distance triathlon which is what I hope to compete in this September. To put this in perspective:
1.2 miles (2km) is further than most competitive swimmers will race in a single event. However in a half iron distance triathlon this is just the first leg of the race.
56 miles (90km) is about the average distance for most local bicycle races and more than most people have ever ridden in one day. Imagine doing this immediately after swimming for almost an hour.
13.1 miles (21km) is a half marathon. The average runner will do this with fresh legs, a half ironman triathlete will do this after completing the swim and run. You are probably thinking a person would have to be crazy to want to do something like this and you are probably right!

     So why would I want to go through the trouble of going through all of the training and punishment of the race itself? Well its been a great motivator to help me get more active and lose weight. A few years ago I went from a active job working in a kitchen to sitting in an office all day and gained a ton of weight. I started cycling to work and that helped lose a bit of weight but it soon plateaued. I enjoyed cycling a lot but realized that this alone would only help me so far. Amanda suggested I start running so I could work different muscles. I did not like this idea at all since I hated to run but the thought lingered. After pondering the running idea for a few days I remembered seeing a sign as a child at the local pool for Triathlons. I also remember thinking back then that I would have liked to have tried this but I did not have the swimming or running endurance. Some 15 years later I found myself in a similar situation but was ready to do something to change that. So I went to the local gym, signed up and practiced my swim and running at the gym. At first it was tough but I slowly built endurance and speed.

Transition Area.
     I competed in my first triathlon in April of 2011. It was a sprint distance which was a 300m pool swim (12 lengths of a 25 yd pool) followed by a 10 mile (16.1 km) bike ride and a 3.1 mile (5km) run. The race went well and I finished under my goal time. After this I was hooked on the sport. I then competed in two more events in 2011 which were longer distances, roughly twice the distance of the first event.

    Although the sprint distance triathlon is a lot of fun I feel that its time to give myself a greater challenge and attempt the half iron distance. To do this I need to put in many hours each week in each of the 3 disciplines of the race plus get some weight training in. However the satisfaction of crossing the finish line in September will be well worth it. I won't finish first and will likely finish near the bottom of the standings but for me this is a personal quest and the only person I need to beat is myself. Finishing will be victory enough. Plus I will have a time to beat for next year as well.

   So what will the training involve? Well this week's schedule looks like this
Yesterday I went to the pool and swam for almost an hour to complete a full 1.2 miles (2km)
Today was a 1hr ride immediately followed by a 20 min run.
Tomorrow is a 30 min run.
Wed will be an extensive weight session.
Thursday will be 60 min run on the treadmill and a 45 minute swim
Friday will be a rest day
Saturday will be a 5k running race with family and friends so it won't technically be a training session.

Since we are 16 weeks out, the training times will start to get longer. If you want to join me in any of my training sessions, let me know. Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the race.

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